Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meet Michael Chong: Farm Warrior

Just to the north of Sprawlville lies the pastoral paradise known as Wellington-Halton Hills. Their federal Member of Parliament is Michael Chong, who is well known and respected in the riding as a man of conscience and integrity despite his rather unfortunate choice of party affiliation.

Most MPs - most good ones, anyway - have a pet cause that they have developed some expertise in and will champion when the opportunity presents itself. In Michael Chong's case, that cause happens to be the three interconnected issues that this blog was designed to address: sustainable agriculture, food security and urban sprawl.

Chong's website contains numerous articles and speeches he has written on these and many other subjects. Some of the best are his series on Urban Sprawl, his series on Agriculture (in which he comes out strongly in favour of supply management), and his speech to the Halton Federation of Agriculture in November, which was published in the Halton Compass. He even made a presentation at the McGill Conference on Global Food Security this September.

I had the opportunity to take a scenic drive through Chong's neck of the woods a few days ago. It was like taking a trip down memory lane to the Halton I remember from when I first moved here 15 years ago. So if Michael Chong can hold back the tide of sprawl and preserve and strengthen his riding's agricultural heritage, then more power to him. Even if he is a Conservative.

Can you imagine if he were Agriculture Minister?